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Topic 4: Erotic Placticity

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Jennifer Ostovich

Topic 4: Erotic Plasticity Baumeister’s Erotic Plasticity Hypothesis Baumeister noticed that women’s sexuality is more mysterious than men (as did Kinsey) -Men more predictable, are easier to study -Women more malleable, less predictable and harder to study Plasticity is different between both sexes -Women had a huge response to the sexual revolution, more likely to have casual sex -Women are in charge to a large extent and grant access to men - Their sexuality is more changeable and malleable than men’s with situational and cultural factors - No position on whether this is good or bad Three predictions: 1) More intra ind ividual variation in sexual histories for women than for men Sexual histories differ a lot more in women - 2) Larger response to specific sociocultural factors by women than by men 3) Lower attitude-behaviour consistency for women than for men - Responsive to situational factors - More malleable and plastic - Difficult to predict attitude-behaviour relationship 1) Intra individual Variability Kinsey et. al (1953) -Gender diff. in total sexual outlet over time -Male report: very stable -Women report: sometimes had high sexual outlet, sometimes low, can go months without sex -found malleability in women that he didn’t find in men Adams & Turner (1985) -asked adults 65-80. -report current masturbation frequency, and frequency in your 20s -found that women's masturbatory increased more over time, even controlling for partnerloss -women are more likely to be widowed (they took this into account) -attitudes for women engaging in masturbation is negative -don’t know why they changed? -because sex drive changed, because its more acceptable? etc. -still shows variability in women Ard (1977) -how much they felt that their marriage partner has changed in their sexual attitudes during their marriage? -Results: women changed more (12% of men said wife changed) -only 6% of women said their husbands changed Same-Sex Activities Sexual Orientation -Kinsey scale orientation -0=only other sex -3=bi sexual -6=only same sex -what we find that men are usually complete 6, or 0s -lower percent of women identify as a 0 -women are spread all the way across the distribution=shows more plasticity approach to who they are willing to have sex with -Gay women more likely than gay men to shift around -not what they say they are attracted to, its what they are really doing Graph: % of Gay Men and Women that have HAD Straight Sex or Relationship -men are less likely to have HAD sex or a relationship with a women than gay females have with a man ex.FUTURE het. experiences -43% of women that identified as lesbians had heterosexual relationships after -whereas close to 0% to men -Straight women more likely than straight men to have (and enjoy) homosexual sex -ex. undergraduate women -literature suggest that women are more experimental in terms of gay behaviours than men -1977 data: found that all but one of the women interviewed who identified as lesbian, and had never had sex with a man, wanted to have sex with a man -ex. prison sex -research suggest that women in prison are far more likely to have consensual sexual relationships - 1/2 of women do this, but only 1/3 of men -when it’s consensual suggests more plasticity - men are more likely than women to identify as gay -drive to have sex is lower, but willingness to have sex with same sex is higher -ex. research on swingers -sexual revolution of 60s and 70s -recruit swingers to tell them about sexual behaviours -Graph: % Engaging in Same-sexActivities/Oral Sex -unmarried vs. married -Result: - women are far more likely to engage in same sex activities (unmarried)=60% -any same sex activities, including making out to having sex - women, 75% and men, 1% - married women are more likely to engage in sexual activities with each other=70% -women are also more likely to do it again than men 2) Socio-Cultural Factors -Recall: Larger response to sociocultural factors expected for women than for men -Sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s - Laumann et. al (1994) cross-sectional data -Y-axis: % reporting 5+ partners by age 30 -comparing: people who turned 30 before the revolution, or who turned 30 after (affected) -how the sexual revolution changed the number to sexual partners -Results: - 11% difference in men - 20% difference in women, had more sex partners after the revolution Other Sociocultural Factors -Sociocultural factors known to affect sexuality Education -people that are more educated are associated with having more sex, and more kinds of sex - more likely to have oral sex -could be that historically, people that are more educated = more willing to try new things? Religion -three main western religion: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity -try to restrict sexuality -don’t want you to have it or enjoy it -if you are more religious, more likely to be less sexually active Ever Performed Oral Sex? (Percentage “Yes”) -High education (post grad degrees or some
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